Andrew Taylor has cited Craig Bellamy as one of the key factors when looking at Cardiff City’s form over the course of the season so far; the talismanic forward leading by example with the club’s new breed in his second spell.
“For me Bellars has been fantastic,” Tayls said. “I wasn’t at Cardiff the first time he was here but he’s come in and his experience, his work ethic and his desire to win instils through the rest of the lads. He’s great to have around the dressing room and I think he’s been a top signing for us.
“I think he’s been fantastic; his desire to win is infectious really. He wants to win everything, whether it’s a training game or a league match. It’s something that feeds into the rest of the lads and his experience speaks for itself. He helps everybody, while one of the main things that deserves a lot of credit is the way that our medical staff are working as he’s playing every minute of every game up to now. Touch wood it’ll continue.”
Teammate plaudits continued, looking next at mister calm himself, Peter Whittingham. Of the midfield maestro, Taylor added, “With Whitts you know what you’re getting. For me, he’s the best midfielder in the Championship and a player who can win games on his own. Over the course of the season, if you look back the amount of goals he’s set up or scored from his sheer quality has won us a lot of points and it’s integral to how well we’re doing.”
Influential as headline makers Bellamy and Whittingham both are, few would argue that ‘City’s main strength in 2012/13 is the team ethic, a fact backed by the sharing of goals and also recent clean-sheets from ever impressive defensive qualities.
“We’ve been solid lately,” he said. “Over the course of the season we’ve had a few shaky games, which you’re always going to get. But I think on the whole we’ve been very solid, while Marshy has been fantastic in goal. Long may that continue. We have to approach each and every game as they come and we don’t want to get too carried away or looking too far ahead at the games, planning the ones we supposedly should be winning and shouldn’t be winning.
“I think if we just focus on each and every game as it comes in the same manner we already do then we’ll be ok. We’ve got to keep our feet on the ground. We’re in a fantastic position as we stand now, but there’s still a lot of football to be played and it could easily change if we don’t do things right.”
Next for Taylor and the Cardiff squad is the Blackpool trip on Saturday evening, after which the following weekend of FA Cup action affords time to recharge ahead of a hectic February. The Seasiders were taken to extra time in the FA Cup replay against Fulham and the game at Bloomfield Road will be the first of three games on the road north, following with Leeds and Huddersfield.
Starting with reflections of the weekend result against Ipswich, he said, “We would have liked to have won ourselves, but you can’t win every game. It was a solid point in the end and afterwards we saw all of the other results had gone our way, so it was a good Saturday all-round.
“Next it’ll be three tough games, but we’re confident at the minute and we’re playing well,” Taylor stated. “It’s hard not to, but we’re trying not to look ahead and are looking only at the Blackpool game, where hopefully we can pick up three points. We’ve then got a weekend off to try and recuperate and to get any knocks and niggles out of the way to get everybody back and fit for the next game after that.”
Finally, with January and the transfer window offering the prospect of new faces, what were Andrew’s views on additions at Cardiff City?
“It’s important, but if we don’t I think we’ve got a strong enough squad to cope with the demands of the league,” he admitted. “But one, two or maybe three new faces always helps to lift the place and can give you that little kick on until the end of the season.”
Andrew Taylor was speaking with BBC Radio Wales' Rob Phillips